RIDGE TIMES / 20 JULY 2018 - 14.47 / STAFF REPORTER
The programme is designed to develop viable innovative ideas into small enterprises over a period of 18 months.
Mr Cassel Mathale, the deputy minister of the Department of Small Business Development, will be re-launching the Gert Sibande TVET College Centre for Entrepreneurship and Rapid Incubator (CFERI) on Wednesday, 11 July.
Mr Cassel Mathale (Deputy Minister: Department of Small Business Development)
said job opportunities will increase in the district.
The CFERI is expected to contribute to combating unemployment in the Gert Sibande District.
It brings institutions of higher learning and enterprise development agencies closer to young entrepreneurs and communities with limited to no access to small enterprise development services, making these much-needed support and services more accessible to these target groups.
This centre will service TVET college graduates and entrepreneurs in Evander, its surrounding villages and townships and the larger Gert Sibande District Municipality and will focus specifically on the youth.
The initiative aims to nurture the youth into entrepreneurs who are capable of growing the economy of Gert Sibande District.
Furthermore, the CFERI also aims to provide business support services such as business training, coaching and mentorship, to existing local businesses.
Mr Mathale said the Department of Small Business Development conducted consultations across the country in 2016 with key role players in the small enterprise development ecosystem, including small business owners.
“These consultations led to the conclusion that there is a definite need to increase incubation support to small businesses and cooperatives, particularly to under-serviced areas such as the Gert Sibande District. Secunda is the home of the Sasol Synfuels Operations where synthetic fuels as well as a number of downstream chemicals are produced.
“The area is also surrounded by mines and Eskom power stations. “The CFERI is therefore strategically positioned for emerging entrepreneurs and cooperatives to tap into the supply chains and ESD funding from the local industry players.”
“The department, with different players in all spheres of government, is working towards inclusive economic growth that focuses on greater participation of youth, women and people living with disability in the mainstream economy, especially in rural and township areas.”
Ms Mandisa Tshikwatamba, CEO of SEDA, said the centre is meant to support the community of Gert Sibande District.
“The investment with the college will reach greater heights. Many entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs involved in this programme will reach the sky.”
Ms Maureen Mboshane, the vice president of Public Affairs: Sasol Secunda, said Sasol has realised that they have an important role to play in the community in partnership with government.
She said Sasol also supports rural development initiatives through a three-year job training programme of electrical and mechanical engineering students from GSC.
Mr Portia Mange, GS College’s acting CEO, gave a brief overview of the college’s vision, mission and success stories.
She also assured everyone that the college is doing all it can to uplift young people of the region.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER